Salient: Victoria University Students' Newspaper. Vol. 24, No. 7. 1961.
Dear Sir,—While Maren Lidden is dealing with a very important problem which causes a great deal of conflict and frustration, both she and all the women she quotes have neglected a very important result of university education for women. Is this omission itself a reflection on the university woman?
The children of graduates both male and female have a springboard into the future. From the day it is born the child is absorbing the knowledge, the disciplined thought, the critical faculty which is nourished by university education. As these influences spread more widely we may hope that a generation of men will grow up civilised enough to realise the necessity for women to fulfil intellectual and vocational drives similar to those of men, and also to be freed from the intolerable burden of economic independence on man.
—B. C. Walsh.
Sir,—May I, through your columns, congratulate the Film Society on its enthusiasm and initiative.
I have been to all its screenings so far and have found them extremely enjoyable.
May I suggest that they try to get the Theatre in the new Student Union Building for their screenings next term, as (though I know that they must be working under difficulties at present), C.3 is not ideally comfortable or appropriate?
They are doing a good job though, and I really appreciate their efforts.
Arts Block Dangerous?
Dear Sir—If this is a little incoherent, forgive me. It isn't every day (I hope) that the building starts falling down about one's ears. Let me explain.
Soon after 11.30 on Monday, 17th, I climbed to the top of the staircase connecting the Kirk and Hunter buildings and stepped right into the passageway. Another student had just turned from the music notice board towards the stairs. Without warning pieces of plaster of the ceiling suddenly fell in. The only reason was the age and decrepitude of the building and the strong wind that day.
Being hit on the head with a few odd lumps of ceiling probably wouldn't finish you off, but it wouldn't be the pleasantest of sensations just when you are looking forward to such pleasant diversions as terms examinations and the opening of the Union Building (If Ever).
Can anyone tell me what the position is about the Hunter Building? It's time there is a new Arts block. The present building was opened in 1906—is it to stand (?) for the next 55 years, periodically showering people with lumps of plaster? The staircase connecting the Kirk and Hunter blocks (the only connection, and in constant use) is a disgrace.
I notice from a similar patch of plasterless ceiling (in the passage a floor above the club notice boards) that this isn't an isolated example. We can only hope Prof. McKenzie's famous overdue earthquake occurs on Sunday 2 a.m. I for one don't fancy being incarcerated under three stories of bricks, books and miscellaneous rubble.
Next week I shall see this in perspective. I shall have calmed down. I shall have sunk back into the well-famed apathy of the student body—that's why I'm writing now. I appeal to those in authority to take up this matter. This building is dangerous.
Dear Sir,—Mr Phipps claims that a danger to our free society is presented by the public demonstrators and protest marchers who might, some day, be manipulated by the agents of a foreign state. The gravest danger to our free institutions, in my opinion, comes from the complacent attitude of our citizens, whose political apathy is a breeding ground for the authoritarians of the right and the left.
I also believe that the demonstrators and protesters are doing our free institutions some important service by shaking our a-political citizens. These demonstrators do not, at present at least, present any clear or imminent danger to our institutions. So long as they continue to be peaceful, they are a healthy sign.
I believe Mr Phipps's concern is to preserve free institutions and to foster political dialogue in a society which is rapidly becoming politically apathetic. I believe organised dissent in the form of peaceful demonstrations is one contribution to the political dialogue. Perhaps Mr Phipps has some other suggestions. I hope he would share them with us. Yours, etc.,
Dear Sir,—As club captain of the V.U.W. Swords Club I wish to apologise publicly to the club members (past and present) who were so needlessly abused in your issue for May 1, 1961. This juvenile article on page 3 (unsigned) was not authorised by the club committee and represents an unprovoked and humourless attack on its members.
As readers are probably aware, an Australian University fencing team will soon be touring New Zealand and will fight Victoria on May 11 and N.Z.U. on May 27 in the new gym. This club is anxious to publicize the tour, and thanks to Salient for its generosity in donating precious newspaper space—but regrets that such nonsensical and meaningless copy was printed.
I would draw your attention to a paragraph on page 12 of the same issue of Salient under the heading "Press Council Talk," where the topic of editorial responsibility was discussed. In view of these comments by Mr Auben, I trust that future personal comments will not be published without the sanction of the organisation the people belong to.
The undermentioned club members have been chosen to represent V.U.W. for the forthcoming match against Australia. Their fencing ability must now be well-known to those who read the above-mentioned article. So without further preface to their skills I list the team and trust that readers will take the trouble to watch them in action on the afternoon and evening of Thursday, May 11, to discover their true merits.
Men: R. Martin, R. Peterson, J. French, R. Hall, C. Home, S. Churcher (emergency).
Women: G. Buchler, L. McKenzie, S. Tidey, J. Buckland, D. Youren (emergency), J. Corlleson (emergency).
Ross Martin, Club Captain,V.U.W. Fencing Club.
Lolita and the Judges
Sir,—"Janclst" complains that the judges who condemned "Lolita" are "grievously lacking in a sense of humour."
He gives the case where the man is seduced by the child. The reader is then nudged in black type to indicate "joke."
I doubt whether the judges would consider this humorous, they hear similar stories every day, and a legal proceeding is not to exercise the judge's sense of humour. The judge was asked to decide whether the book came within the provisions of the indecent publications act with the result that "Lolita" became a banned book.
This raises the question; if this book is an illegal import and has not been published in New Zealand, how did Jancist get a copy without breaking the law? The answer, like the seduction story, would no doubt be considered by the judge, All Rather Amusing.
Dear Sir,—Why can't people shut up in the library? Yours, etc.,
Cause, or effect?
Sir,—The Wellington Movement For Nuclear Disarmament has done a fine Job in rousing the Wellington public to this very Important problem.
Finding a solution to this problem must be treated as a matter of urgency.
At the Ohio State University the possibility of accidental wars has been thoroughly studied, and a frightful list of possible accidents have been catalogued.
The "nuclear club" is now confined to four big nations. Its membership will undoubtedly increase. In time, the problem of disarmament will not only be made more complex; but also the bigger nations may be dragged into a nuclear war entirely against their will.
There are no concrete solutions as yet. But this must not deter sensible people everywhere from striving to find a solution. For a start, nations must promote better mutual relations and reduce mutual tension. Unlike T. M. Berthold (Salient No. 5) I say that International tension is not the cause of armaments but armaments are the cause of tension. If the world were to disarm, and there were no means for one nation to launch aggression against another then fear, suspicion and tension will automatically disappear. To promote better relations between nations we have to accept that there are different ways of doing things. We have to accept these ways even If we detest them, and learn to live with them as good neighbours. in a spirit of tolerance and understanding.
Differences should be settled by negotiation, not by war. Secondly, world trade must be practised more freely between nations. While two nations are trading they are not quarrelling, at least not very viciously. Discriminatory barriers, such as embargoes, tariffs, etc., must be removed and trade carried out on a basis of mutual benefit. Thirdly, exchange of personnel between countries must be increased, at every level. Misunderstanding is one of the main hindrances to better relations between peoples and the Intensification of personal contacts is a sure means of polishing away these undesirable frictions. And fourthly, honest people everywhere must take the lead in participating in genuine peace-campaigns, and join in with the members of the Wellington Nuclear Disarmament Movement in fighting for the complete abolition of nuclear weapons.
You may ask, why should we be friendly to the heathens or the commies, or open up our trade? In the past the alternative was war, and war means nuclear war. If a nuclear war comes, there shall be no winners.
Chian See Toy.(Abridged).
Dear Sir—I feel it Incumbent upon someone to point out to the poor bewildered citizens of Wellington a slight inconsistency between the recent sex debate subject and the recent sex debate subject as reported in Salient.
The motion which was debated was that artificial insemination should replace sexual Intercourse in the propagation of the human race. I think that your reporter has rather altered the sense in omitting the last seven words. I am, sir,
Dear Sir,—Who the heck gave "Middle-way" the authority to pontificate over my behaviour patterns?
|1||— Abstinence is a useful discipline.|
|2||—I see no reason why I should conform to Middle-way's conception of maturity.|
|3||—I can't afford it.|
|4||—It tastes lousy.|
Sir,—Why can't some lecturers finish their morning lectures at the accepted time, viz. 10 minutes before the hour?
Some of them seem to think that their audience is eager to sop up each last crumb of knowledge, when in fact it is doubtful if any member of that impatient group has even heard anything at all while sitting there fuming and wondering how late he will be for the next class.
Sir,—Three years ago I had a job as an unskilled labourer and cleared £20 a week. After three years full-time study I have gained a degree and now earn £12 a week. Would anyone like to join me in emigrating?
—Hard up Graduand.
Dear Sir,—Appalling! What a b———— mess! Indoctrination. Religious phobia. 75% of students are religious: repeat, religious (and proud of it. So what?). So. where are the radicals? Where are the extremists? Where are the devils? (In the remaining 25%; any fool could guess that). But 25% is not enough.
The 25% must be expanded. Society must be given some real life and blood. What's the use of religion unless there is some real, warm, quivering Temptation!
So let's tempt religion with Sex (real sex); with Drink (really rotten); with Blasphemy (ho, ho).
The moral of this is simple. Let's all kick up hell. Let's all go to Hell. Let's be Devils!